Role: Lead Experience Designer / Interface Designer

How might you empower a Kohl’s beauty consultant to make more informed recommendations on makeup products for their customers? In addition, how might you create a tool that allows a beauty consultant to easily track and manage appointments with their clients? In partnership with Apple, we worked with the Kohl’s team to conduct research and leverage mobile technology to design a solution that provided beauty consultants with a tool to make their job easier and in turn give them instant access to a source of product information.

 

Research

To understand the current state of how beauty consultants worked, we needed to start a conversation with them. At the very start of the project I led a team of researchers to conduct user research at several Kohl’s stores. Notebook in hand we interviewed over a dozen beauty consultants. Immediately, we noticed the inconsistencies in how each consultant kept track of their clients as well as how they got their information and resources. Most of the consultants’ product information came from youtube videos which were done by well-known makeup artists and vloggers. It was apparent that there was no one centralized source of product information for all of Kohl’s beauty consultants.

 

3-Day Workshop

We kicked the project off with a 3-day discovery workshop in Cupertino. The intent of the workshop was to gather business requirements and quickly bring the ideas created to life alongside the key stakeholders for Kohl’s, Kohl’s beauty advisors, Apple developers and the IBM team.

Day 1

Day one consisted of initial introductions, gathering business requirements, understanding the overarching goals and understanding the “day in the life” of the end beauty advisors.

Day 2

On day two we mapped out the primary flow and sketched out concepts for each of the views that we would design. A majority of the day consisted of collaboration and presentations. Everything at this stage was still kept at low-fidelity.

Day 3

On the final day we worked with the visual design team to apply visual treatments to the wireframe sketches that we created. The workshop concluded with a final presentation and defining the strategy for execution moving forward.

 

Approach

Over the course of several weeks, we conducted a workshop, interviewed over 25 people from the Kohl’s leadership team to understand their business goals and conducted field research with beauty advisors. The goal was clear, if we can empower the beauty consultant to make informed product recommendations by having immediate access to in-stock products and their details, there would be a higher probability that they would make a sale. And to add, not only would that customer make a purchase but there would be a higher chance that they would return, knowing that the consultant is there for them and can follow up.

We knew we had to integrate with Kohl’s inventory management system as well as to store details for each SKU in a system. Working with the Kohl’s dev team, we were able to pull in the right data and design a simple UI that was made exclusively for beauty consultants.

 

Outcome

The Kohl’s beauty advisor app was created in an effort to bring more iOS devices to the retail environment. The app has since been integrated at select stores for beta testing and will be improved over time as usage rises.